Sunday, January 26, 2014

Backyard Berries & Birds

26 January 2014

Every winter the CEDAR WAXWINGS arrive in our Morgan Hill, California backyard to feast on the berries... but only on the exact day when the berries are just ripe for eating. Not all the berries ripen on the same day... but today was a banner day!

The CEDAR WAXWING tail feathers look as if the tip was dipped in bright yellow paint, and their wings have red wax-like tips on their secondaries... which is how this species gets its common name!   So fun to watch!
Cedar Waxwing eating the berries
Cedar Waxwing at berries
Another species also visits our backyard when the berries are ripe, the PURPLE FINCH.  We have lots of HOUSE FINCHES year-round, but we only see the PURPLE FINCH during this time, as they too are a berry-eater.

Purple Finch at the berries
Purple Finch

Although the WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW doesn't eat berries, they are another winter bird common in our backyard... and this adult wanted his picture taken too... so here it is!

White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow

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